CPHVA response to Chief Nursing Officer’s review
A 1,000 more health visitors and 500 school nurses need to be recruited urgently, the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association CPHVA) said today (Tuesday, 3 August).
While welcoming the key role that health visitors and school nurses play with the vulnerable children and young people – highlighted in the review by the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, Sarah Mullally - the CPHVA wants to know where the resources are coming from to back up the CNO’s recommendations.
The CPHVA was responding to The Chief Nursing Officer’s review of the nursing, midwifery and health visiting contribution to vulnerable children and young people published today (Tuesday, 3 August).
The CPHVA’s director, Mark Jones: ‘This is an excellent review, with acute - and complimentary - observations on the work of health visitors and school nurses. It also focuses on the future development of their jobs within an more integrated structure - allied with education and social services - which is dedicated to improving the welfare of children.’
‘However, the review now needs to be reinforced with a tangible commitment from politicians to provide the money to fund these recommendations.’
The review states that there are only 13,000 health visitors and 2,500 school nurses, compared with 40,000 social workers and 440,000 teachers.
Mark Jones said that community nurses were the ‘poor relation’ in terms of numbers of staff in the frontline. Many of the 13,000 health visitors worked part-time and up to a quarter of the workforce could ake retirement in the next five years.
The CPHVA has consistently over the last four years called for an extra 500 school nurses to be employed and this was now ‘doubly urgent’, as the review recommends a minimum of one full-time, whole year, qualified school nurse in every secondary and its cluster of primary schools.
Mark Jones said: ‘The CPHVA will work with government to ensure that these recommendations are implemented to maximum effect.’
‘But without extra health visitors and school nurses out there in the community on a daily basis, the risk of another tragic case, such as the death of Victoria Climbie, remains ever-present.’